PGP, S/MIME, VeriSign, S/MIME & Ceritifcate

PGP, S/MIME, VeriSign, S/MIME & Ceritifcate

Post by Thor Kotteli » Sun, 16 Jul 2000 04:00:00

> Would someone please explain what is the difference, and/or the overlap, of
> :
> PGP, S/MIME, VeriSign, S/MIME & Ceritifcate?

PGP is the Pretty Good Privacy program: <URL:>. Using
PGP (or any OpenPGP - <URL:> -
compliant software), a user can manage his own "web of trust".

S/MIME - <URL:> - is a standard
for sending secure email. It's based on "from the top down" "big brother"
certificate authoritities (CAs) and X.509 certificates. It's often used
with insecurely short (e.g. 40-bit) keys.

VeriSign is the largest CA: <URL:>.

A certificate is a public key signed by someone who certifies that the key
belongs to the person whose name it carries.

Quote:> Which is better?

I prefer PGP over S/MIME because PGP gives me control - I can easily
certify keys myself, as well as decide whom to trust and whom not to
trust. Also, PGP is easy to use from the command line or within scripts.

Quote:> Does one include and/or preclude the other?

You can use both PGP and S/MIME software if you want to.

alt.binaries.pgp removed. Follow-ups set.


Plain old email is very insecure. Please make it
a little safer for yourself and me by using PGP.
FAQ: <URL:>.
My public keys are available from key servers.


1. PGP, S/MIME, VeriSign, S/MIME & Ceritifcate

PGP = Pretty Good Privacy. A programm to chipher emails and other

S/MIME = A protocoll to transfer encrypted emails used by
Microsoft Outlook and Netscape Communicator.

VeriSign = A company, which sell Certifications

A Cerification = Improvement of the proper ownership of a
asymetric key by a digital signature.

Regards: Jochen Schmitt

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